During these hot and dry days it's good to think about those hardy native trees that are best adapted to survive the sometimes-grueling Louisiana summers. The shortleaf pine (Pinus echinata) is one such specimen. This tree is suited to a wide variety of soil types and it can withstand a little drought, and seems to prefer drier conditions. There are two individual shortleaf pines in the arboretum, for your inspection.
|The tree outside of the irrigation zone seems to be faring a little better. The trunk is certainly straighter. It's pictured above. The Student Union Building is pictured in the background. This is the western edge of the arboretum, on a slope.|
|The short leaves measure under four inches. They are short compared to the loblolly pine needles.|
|The needles grow in pairs. Needle length varies. Some leaves are approximately 3.5 inches.|
|Other leaves are closer to 2.5 inches.|
|The egg-shaped pine cones are hanging from the branches. Cones can be found on the ground, too.|
|This cone was removed from a low-hanging branch. It's approximately 2 inches in length.|
|This particularly conical cone was found on the ground and measures approximately 3 inches.|
|New, green cones are developing while the old ones remain on the branches.|
|The bark is reddish-brown and rough. The plates are smoother, flatter, and thinner compared to loblolly pine bark.|
You can find more pictures of the arboretum's shortleaf pines here.
For more information about this species consult the following:
United States Department of Agriculture
U.S. Forest Service
Virginia Tech Dendrology
NC State Extension